The mortality rate for people over 80 from COVID-19 is around 15% according to data from China.
Both physical and social reasons become the reason for older people being at more risk to COVID-19. Since older people don't have a strong immune system, therefore they are more vulnerable to transmit disease. Older people are more likely to have medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or kidney disease, which deteriorate their body’s ability to fight against infectious disease.
By looking at the death rate in the graph, fatality starts to increase for those over 50 years of age. People, under 50 years who are infected, have a death rate of 0.2% while for those 50-59 years it’s 1.3%.
Older people lungs are not as elastic and tough as when at a younger age. This kind of things, combined with other kind of health issue, the trend toward the loss of airway utility and respiratory function.
As a person grows older, he/she has more possibilities to develop health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, lung conditions and cancer.
According to the studies and research from affected populations in China have visibly shown that having any of these conditions, irrespective of age, is at a risk factor for developing complications of COVID-19, which includes respiratory difficulties and pneumonia. Having old age into the combination, a person is more than double that risk.
The human body relies on the immune systems to identify the COVID-19 virus when it enters the body and starts working to fight it. As a person grows old there is a significant decline in immune function. Thus, elderly individuals are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus; their immune system does not react efficiently, thus leaving them more prone to the virus.
In elder people, the production of the white cells in bone marrow decelerates, and therefore the rate of maturation is not healthy as compared to the younger people, leaving them with fewer white blood cells needed to fight against infection.
What older people can you do to protect themselves?
· Social distancing, avoid receiving any visitors unless necessary.
· Don’t leave home unless it’s very important, have neighbours shop for your groceries and refill any medications. Prefer online shopping
· Avoid going into large groups, don't shake hands or hug, keep a distance of 6 feet from people and avoid touching your face.
· Wash hands often